Kit highly classified Pentagon documents leaked online in recent weeks in an apparent major security breach, reveal US intelligence gathering on its key partners, adversaries and competitors, including China.
Many of the documents relate to the battlefield in Ukra*ne and Russ*an military activities, and some of them show the extent to which the United States has infiltrated the Russ*an Ministry of Defense and the Russ*an mercenary organization the Wagner Group.
But the handful of documents, which are just a snapshot of U.S. intelligence gathering, also indicate that some Defense Department officials are gathering intelligence about China, a country that Washington considers “the biggest long-term challenge to the international order.”
CNN reviewed 53 leaked documents, all of which appear to have been produced between mid-February and early March.
Many of the documents claimed by US officials to be genuine were marked to indicate that they were produced by the Joint Staff intelligence unit known as J2 and appear to be information documents.
The documents reviewed by CNN contain more references to Russ*an activities than to China, but they contain information about US intelligence gathering on Beijing’s activities, especially in relation to US concerns about possible Chinese involvement in the war in Ukra*ne.
One key intelligence reference to China stems from a long-standing American concern that China, a close strategic partner of Russ*a, will lend its support to the Kremlin’s military efforts in Ukra*ne.
One of the documents says that China could use Ukra*nian strikes against targets deep inside Russ*a “as an opportunity to portray NATO as an aggressor and could increase its assistance to Russ*a if it considers the attacks to be significant.”
“China will respond more strongly and is likely to increase the scale and amount of equipment it is willing to provide to Russ*a if Ukra*nian strikes hit a place of high strategic importance or target high-ranking Russ*an leaders,” the document says.
A massive Ukra*nian attack using US or NATO weap*ns is likely to be taken by Beijing as “an indication that Washington is directly responsible for the escalation of the conflict” and could possibly become “another justification for China to provide lethal assistance to Russ*a.” says in the document.
US officials have repeatedly and publicly warned Beijing against aiding Russ*a in its war effort, and earlier this year said China was considering providing deadly aid to the Kremlin.
The US and its allies have not said that China provided such assistance, and Beijing denied the claim. However, over the past year he has strengthened economic ties with Russ*a. CNN has reached out to the Chinese Foreign Ministry for comment.
US officials have previously expressed reluctance to provide Ukra*ne with long-range missile systems due to fears that Kyiv will use them to launch strikes on Russ*an territory. Ukra*ne pledged not to use US-provided weap*ns for this.
Ukra*ne generally does not comment on questions about its involvement in a limited number of terrorist attacks that have taken place on Russ*an territory or in Russ*an-occupied Crimea since the beginning of the war.
Beijing has so far not publicly commented on the leaked documents, but some reports about it have been circulated in its domestic media, including an article by foreign party mouthpiece People’s Daily.
In recent years, despite scandals over US surveillance of its allies, which have led to several instances of international outrage, it seems that the US is still “not stopping,” the article says.
Additional references to China in the documents show that the US oversees China’s weap*ns development and naval activities.
Of note is the February 25 flight test of the “experimental” DF-27, which is described as a multipurpose hypersonic glide vehicle of the medium-range ballistic missile class. The weap*n has a “high probability” of penetrating U.S. missile defenses, the document says.
Hypersonic glide missiles fly at five times the speed of sound and can maneuver in flight, making them nearly impossible to shoot down, experts say. China is believed to have one of the most advanced hypersonic weap*ns programs in the world.
Another entry includes notes on a recent deployment by the People’s Liberation Army Navy, which the document notes was the first time a Yushen LHA-31 helicopter carrier was included in the expanded deployment area.
Other documents suggest that the US is gathering information about how other countries interact with China using radio intelligence.
Signal intelligence includes intercepted communications and is broadly defined by the National Security Agency as “intelligence derived from electronic signals and systems used by foreign targets, such as communications systems, radar, and weap*ns systems.”
One document attributed to the ESI report said the Jordanian Foreign Ministry planned in late February to reassure Beijing of its interest in continuing economic relations after Beijing reportedly complained that Chinese companies were not participating in the network rollout. 5G in the country.
Another reported that Nicaragua was negotiating with a Chinese company to build a deep water port on the Caribbean coast, attributing the information to radio intelligence.
The note also said, without citing the source, that Nicaragua “will likely consider granting Beijing naval access in exchange for economic investment.” He added that China has not declared a desire to obtain foreign bases or military access to the country.
The Justice Department said it was investigating how the documents ended up on social media.
The US Department of Defense, in a statement over the weekend, said it “continues to review and evaluate” the authenticity of the documents while supporting “a multi-agency effort” to assess their impact on the US, its allies and partners.